REVIEW: The Last Full Measure [2020]

Justice delayed is justice denied. While Todd Robinson‘s The Last Full Measure does center upon the cost of war, it’s neither a pro-war or anti-war film. He instead allows the idea of battle to exist as an imperative within Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr.’s story. Not only did this young man enlist to go to Vietnam, his bravery led him to voluntarily exit his helicopter above the massacre of Operation Abilene in order to help a division of total strangers who just sent their only medic up for evacuation. Pits…

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REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home [2019]

Please stop saying tingle. **There will obviously be Endgame spoilers.** It’s a post-“blip” world (the word humanity has agreed upon as a stand-in for the five-year period where half of world’s population disappeared at the snap of Thanos’ fingers) and the usual faces are gone. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) can no longer rely on Steve Rogers’ idealism, Natasha Romanoff’s loyalty, or Tony Stark’s genius as a last line of defense when Earth is challenged with a force the boots on the ground simply cannot handle. Captain Marvel is off…

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REVIEW: Captain Marvel [2019]

I’m not what you think I am. With the snap of his fingers, Thanos made half of Earth’s population disappear. It was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most harrowing climactic cliffhanger and it did possess an emotional response despite knowing most if not all of our beloved characters would find their way back before the war was officially over. With so many broken heroes, however, who could lead the necessary response? Tony Stark? Steve Rogers? No. When Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) saw what was happening, neither of them was on…

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REVIEW: Glass [2019]

Why are we the only ones? It began nineteen years ago with a tale about emotional and physical duress—byproducts of tortured lives being led by purportedly “great” men too defeated to reach their full potential until circumstances reveal the power possessed within. M. Night Shyamalan was playing with the notion of superheroes walking the thin line between reality and fantasy. He sought to show how quick humanity is to explain away the impossible as quite ordinary, reducing those leaning upon the former into victims of delusion. Through Unbreakable‘s David Dunn…

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REVIEW: Unbreakable [2000]

I had a bad dream. I didn’t watch The Sixth Sense when it was in theaters and therefore never had much of an affinity for it due to knowing the twist before eventually sitting down. I’m not therefore certain why I was excited to check out his follow-up Unbreakable. It could have been friends wanting to go or simply that it was “the” movie to see that weekend in November. All I do remember is my confusion when the opening screen of text arrived with statistics about comic books. I…

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TIFF REVIEW: Life Itself [2018]

Tell them I’m nice. Morbid or not: I love when stationary characters turn to the camera only to be hit by a vehicle coming from offscreen. There’s something that’s just immensely satisfying about watching one step into that sweet spot of quiet, empty space with a hindered view on either side. I brace for impact, disappointed when it doesn’t arrive because the blocking so perfectly sets up tragedy despite the filmmaker’s decision to squander the opportunity. So I of course smiled when the first such collision occurs during Dan Fogelman‘s…

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REVIEW: Incredibles 2 [2018]

“Help me make supers legal again!” Fourteen years is a long time to wait for a sequel—especially from a studio that embraced the concept of creatively expanding properties with them early on in its tenure. Letting a decade-plus pass guarantees your initial audience has grown out of the target demographic and therefore presumes their interest in returning to such characters has waned or disappeared. This is why the decision to have Incredibles 2 completely ignore its lengthy hiatus is so intriguing an idea. We’re not returning to this world long…

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REVIEW: The Incredibles [2004]

“I have a weapon only I can defeat” When I saw The Incredibles in theaters upon release, the easy comparison was Fantastic Four—its own cinematic adaptation still a year away in 2005. You have the physical brute of Bob Parr’s Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) like Thing, the stretchy elasticity of Helen’s Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) like Mister Fantastic, an invisible teenage girl in Violet (Sarah Vowell) like Sue Storm, and a cocksure speedster in Dash (Spencer Fox) similar to if not exactly like Human Torch. What made Brad Bird‘s so…

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REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island [2017]

“Eating’s for the living” It’s amazing how a film’s success can create a tidal wave, but that’s exactly what Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla did in 2014. We’re talking critical acclaim, half a billion dollars at the box office, and a rejuvenated plea for monster flicks. Well the first two are fact, the third merely hope on behalf of Legendary Pictures. Because their investment isn’t just sequels, it’s about a “MonsterVerse” so important to them that they got Universal Pictures to give Kong: Skull Island‘s rights to Warner Bros. so a single…

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REVIEW: I Am Not Your Negro [2017]

“My countrymen were my enemy” Author James Baldwin‘s powerful rhetoric can be perfectly summed up by his statement on “The Dick Cavett Show” concerning Patrick Henry’s 1775 quotation, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” He explains how a world oppressed can utter that line with conviction and be applauded whether they’re American, Irish, Jewish, or Polish, but as soon as a black person does he/she is treated like the devil. He/she becomes an enemy of the state, a villain, and a “thug.” It’s therefore not the black community’s responsibility…

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REVIEW: The Legend of Tarzan [2016]

“Look at his hands” The film wasn’t even over before an older woman sitting a row away loudly exclaimed, “I’m exhausted.” I chuckled to myself at the exasperation shown for what wasn’t even a two-hour movie, but quickly realized she wasn’t wrong. I felt a bit drained myself trying to figure out what part of The Legend of Tarzan director David Yates wanted me to care about. Was it the relationship between Tarzan aka John Clayton III (Alexander Skarsgård) and his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) and their bond’s strength when…

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